DIMAPUR, Sept 5 - In the face of various organisations in Nagaland expressing strong resentment against the proposal to �idolise� and �gratify� Rani Gaidinliu as �political and spiritual leader�, the Nagaland Government has clarified that the tag National Freedom Fighter given to any citizen is decided by the Government of India and not by any State Government.
In a statement, secretary to Government of Nagaland N Hushili Sema said Rani Gaidinliu had risen against the British rule in late 1920s before Nagaland and Manipur were formed. She was arrested at Poilwa in present Nagaland in 1932 and imprisoned for life by the British the next year. She was incarcerated in Guwahati, Shillong, Aizawl and Tura jails for 14 years. She was closely associated with Mahatma Gandhi, Jawarharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and a host of Indian national personalities throughout her life. She was awarded Tamra Patra by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on August 15, 1972.
In 1982, she was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award in the country, for distinguished services of highest order to the nation.
On the status accorded to late Rani Gaidinliu by Nagaland Government, Nagaland Home Commissioner Neihu C Thur listed out facilities provided to her by the government from 1966 till her death on February 17, 1993.
Thur said after she agreed to come overground in January 1966, the Government of Nagaland allotted her a Type V quarter complete with facilities for body guards and attendants at Forest Colony in Kohima.
With this clarification, the Nagaland Government hoped that all doubts regarding Rani Gaidinliu are cleared.
On August 24, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the birth centenary of Rani Gaidinliu in New Delhi in the presence of Finance Minister Arun Jaitely, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, DONER Minister Jitendra Singh, Nagaland and Assam Governor PB Acharya, Manipur and Nagaland Chief Ministers Okram Ibobi Singh and TR Zeliang.
On the occasion, the PM issued commemorative coin of hundred rupees and coin of five rupees on Rani Gaidinliu.
Meanwhile, some Christian groups and civil society organisations in Nagaland are opposing the eulogising of Rani Gaidinliu by the NDA Government.
The Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) said in a statement that at no point in history had Nagas ever acknowledged or attributed Rani Gaidinliu as their spiritual leader. Nagaland Christian Revival Church (NCRC) has vehemently condemned �the notion of proclaiming and declaring Gaidinliu as the spiritual leader of the Nagas�.
NCRC further said it failed to comprehend the rationality of the State Government to build a memorial hall for Gaidinliu. �Gaidinliu was the leader of a cultic religion and to build a memorial hall for her is not far from idolatry,� it added. The Chakhesang Baptist Church Council (CBCC) has rejected the attempt to idolise Gaidinliu.